As some of you know, Cindy and I have both had the Lasik procedure done (only fixes eyesight, not hair...common misconception) so in case any of you with poor eyesight have considered the procedure, today's blog will give you an idea of what to expect. I had mine done at the Berkley Eye Center and Cindy had hers done at Eye Excellence. Both did a great job, but my place gave me vision like an Eagle. Cindy's new eyesight is pretty good too.
1. I went in for an initial free consultation, which only took about 15-30 minutes. You just look into a blue light and they run a couple of tests to determine the exact shape of your eye and depth of your cornea. No pain. They tell you right then whether or not your are a candidate, which most people are. They also explain all of the side-effects, give you the worst case scenario information, and go over the costs, which is roughly $2,000 per eye after the insurance discounts.
2. Had to go for a month without wearing contacts and then went in for a normal eye exam. Same tests they always do including dilating your eyes. This took about 30 minutes.
3. Scheduled appointment and went in for the actual procedure. I went in on a Friday morning so I could have the weekend to recover.
4. There was no wait. As soon as I got there I signed a few forms, gave them my check, and then they took me into a small waiting area. They gave me a Valium and made me lie down while it kicked in and they also put in numbing drops. After about 10 minutes they took me into the operating room where I lied down under the first laser. (At Cindy's place they didn't give her the valium until after the procedure to help her sleep)
5. They put what looked like a small magnifying glass (like we used in elementary school science class to count lady big spots) without the lens over my eye. It didn't hurt, but it just felt like there was a lot of pressure on my eye. As soon as they did it, everything went black. Slowly I could see light again, but everything was blurry for the remainder of the operation. Once they had the thing on my eye, they pulled the laser over it and I could hear a clicking noise. The laser created a serious of bubbles in a circular shape on my eye lens, which you don't feel. They did this to both eyes, which took about 30 seconds per eye and then I just had to lie there and wait for about 10 minutes while the bubbles continued to form and join together. There was no pain, only a little discomfort and obviously a lot of anxiety.
6. Once the bubbles looked right, they moved me to another chair with the second laser. They then took a sharp tool (looks like dentist tool to scrape off plaque) and worked it under my eye lens. They then flipped the lens open creating a flap. It feels and looks like someone taking out your contact lens for you, and although it was weird and I was freaked out, this part didn't hurt at all. They then moved the laser over my eye and I heard clicking again. The flap part took about 1 minute per eye and the laser took about 45 seconds per eye. They then put some gel stuff (it was cool and refreshing like I just squirted a whole bottle of natural tears in there) in my eye and folded the flap back on and did the same thing to my other eye.
7. Once they put the flap back on my second eye, I sat up and could see. It was crazy. Everything was kind of foggy, but it was sharp and in focus which I haven't see without contacts and glasses for a long time. They take you to a post-op room and look inspect your eyes to make sure everything looks ok and that the flaps are on there good and then they let you go home.
8. Once you get home, all of the numbing drops they had been putting in start to wear off and your eyes burn. I'm not going to lie, it sucks. I think the worst part is Step 5 when they put the magnifying lens thing over your eye and the second worst thing is the burning once you get home. But you're suppose to go to sleep for approximately 6 hours because your eyes heal the fastest while closed. Once I fell asleep and woke up later than night (around 6 or 7pm) my eyes felt fine and the burning was completely gone.
9. You have to take 3 different types of drops over the next week or so as well as wear goggle type things while you sleep. But as everyday goes by your vision improves. I had a follow-up appointment the next morning, the following week, one month after the procedure, and then a 6 month follow-up. The first week or so I was a little sensitive to light and had minor halos at night. Cindy, who already had bad halos at night, had really bad halos after the operation but those have slowly been going away with time as well. The morning after my procedure I had 20/20 and the week after I had 20/15 vision, which means that I can see at 20' what you average vision chumps have to be at 15' to see....eagle vision, babies, eagle vision.
I am a super big sissie. My eyes water at the mere mention of anything eye related. My eyes started watering trying to find a picture for today's blog. And the entire operation I was clenching my fists, stretching out my toes, and freaking out. But the operation itself was really not that painful and is probably better described as uncomfortable. I was in and out of the operating room in about 15-20 minutes. My point being that if I can do Lasik then I think anyone can do it. And for those of you that see debt as an effective management tool of wealth building, they do offer financing.
It's the little things that have been so great:
- waking up and being able to see the clock
- being able to watch TV/read a book and fall asleep in bed or on the couch without crushing my glasses or letting my contacts get plastered to my eyes
- not having to deal with glasses or contacts on the river
- not dealing with glasses slipping off my face while working out
- gaining all of the extra room in my dop kit (for you Justin) by not having to pack contact case, glasses case, eye drops, and contact solution
For those of you considering it, at least go the free consultation, it's worth 15 minutes of your life.